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tv   [untitled]    July 16, 2012 3:30am-4:00am EDT

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school. learning. this is also a coming to life for most of the headlines. international diplomacy over syria he'd stop with special envoy kofi annan most scared to seek help in ending the bloody cry says rochelle news that foreign partners are not doing enough to stop violence in the country i made a global standoff on ways to solve the conflict. on to american protests in greece and you asked secretary of state hillary clinton on a rival in egypt where she has given washington support for the new the election is a mess president this threatens a strained u.s. relations with a zero what clinton is including her age nation regional toll. and americans are
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losing trust in the mainstream media as part of its popularity is at an all time low but citizens are stepping in to fill the gap as a line reporting routes to the forefront. and right now these gadgets discuss the fate of a trip. cross talk is the next. and you. still. want to. follow in welcome across town people about egypt and its interrupted revolution the intensifying stand up getting
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a democratically elected president against entrenched military is polarizing the country's politics and population will the military ever seek power. and. start. to cross-talk egyptian spring i'm joined by henri sara and in washington he is the founder and editor of mere rhetoric dot com and in new york we cross is steven slawson ger he's an adjunct fellow at the century foundation i german cross-talk rules in effect that means you can jump anytime you want i do go to my friend in d.c. first where is the egyptian revolution stand at this moment i mean look the question is not is there a revolution left it's who has successfully hijacked the revolution it's that the military which seems to be in control is that the muslim brotherhood which for a time seemed to be in control but has stumbled badly in the last few days gratuitously taking the fight with the military gratuitously taking the fighting
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was going to them high said in a matter as it was it no matter how it was it just a matter of time. i mean it's all listen it's. i think that's right we were in a environment where there was autocratic rule and the population wasn't going to take it anymore the question was how long was the transition going to take now ironically by virtue of the fact that i think western policymakers including those here in washington d.c. screwed up by centrally not only declaring themselves to be agnostic between the various choices that egyptians were making but also essential ie being willing to continence a accelerated election in december which liberals in egypt believe. allowed the muslim brotherhood to steal more than their fair share of the vote will instead of having a soft landing now we have a full blown constitutional crisis with the egyptian president overseas essential in saudi arabia today asking for money and being told that if the saudis are going
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to continue floating the egyptian economy he's going to have to stop looking for growth to its fights with the military and show some distance from iran and so we have a geo political crisis we have a constitutional crisis and we have a parliament that convened only to declare that there was going to be a new parliamentary election and all of this was happening while you're just i mean there's a lot of time to digest and you want to jump in go ahead yes i think that given the . circumstances of the last year it's somewhat of an exaggeration to say right now there's a constitutional crisis seems to me this is the early bargaining that goes on between centers of power in a transitional situation and in fact. president morsi has shown to me more of a. aggressiveness which i think may suit his particular needs which is to
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assert the fact that the presidency has a role in egypt well and she even what is the role of the president. the president from a retreat at some point. negotiate new new agreements with the military and with other centers of power within egypt but i think that's part of the you know this is never been a there's never been a democracy in egypt before and this is something that has to be played out in a public way with a certain amount of assertion on both sides but i don't think the military is prepared to reassert its all of that control its dictatorial control over the country and i don't think morsi is going to impose some sort of islamic dictatorship so there has to be some wiggle room which is right now in existence in egypt which allows the two competing and of these to work out some arrangement which will be the basis for an evolutionary process for democracy in egypt ok i
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mean if i go back to who has the know who has the most time here who has the most time here which side. i mean i think there's two arguments one is the muslim brotherhood has all the time in the world because demographics favor them but the other argument is that the military need only hold on to its centers of power and more importantly hold on to the economic levers of power which they have in egypt and wait for the muslim brotherhood to fail now i think stephen's mostly right but i part ways with them on the argue the suggestion that this either should or will play out in public and i'm not sure how much control morsi has it's a matter of fact that as an institution for the first time since the one nine hundred fifty s. the presidency is playing the secondary role to the military in egypt and i'm not even sure that morsi is the one that's making them to negotiate that's doing the back room negotiating for the muslim brotherhood let alone is the one that's going to be representing these various institutional factions these various
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constitutional offices as they manage the transition and so i'm not sure that we're in the midst of a transition we might be in the midst of a retrenchment steven where do you where do you go with that i mean go ahead beat it because it looks like to me the military is to set a trap here that's all they want the president to fail. well i mean you know the funny thing about this whole democratic process is that morsi actually has to look at what the political situation is going to be in the future for his own party and when you really think about it you know you come into egypt which is in a state of recession or depression and has been for years morsi really has to be concerned about the domestic situation in egypt i mean after all if he wants to stay in power and obviously the broader muslim brotherhood would like that to be you know their destiny they have to be concerned about. restarting the domestic economy of egypt so
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a lot of this to me i mean shadowbox i mean you know they i agree with that in saudi arabia is more they are enemy important they aren't focusing on that. well it. has these older gentlemen gentlemen who has the power to do that right now do you think the military wants to continue to run this is this is interesting this is . this is a very interesting question and it's another thing there is a question of what is and this is what your the situation you have to focus on the go ahead first go ahead yet but there are more yet it's not stephen is right that anybody who wants to be successful in egypt and gain legitimacy has to begin focusing on the economy but very interesting really during the election you'll remember that morsi didn't promise that unemployment was going to ignore low wages were going to be his focus during the first hundred days when he was talking about the five areas he'll solve during the hundred days he talked about traffic congestion sanitation he talked about personal security and insecurity he talked
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about bread lines and he talked about fuel shortages he didn't talk about unemployment very very interesting really and very very much i think to the detriment not only of him and not only of the forces that he represents but also frankly to the detriment of western analysts who considered him to be a calming analyst of what's going on in egypt i think that during the election he erred by not focusing on what was important to the egyptian people and be promising things he couldn't deliver and to fuel shortages and to congestion and now since he's been inaugurated he's made several gratuitous he's launched several gratuitous attacks against other constitutional institutions and other. times and now he's. going to be argued that can be argued stephen what do you think i mean does the president have any powers of to do any of these things on the issue of unemployment i think he probably was a political decision and he knew that he couldn't come up with any particular. remedies at this point in this election process he was more concerned with actually
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winning the contests and to get into. some sort of fight over whether he could sort of unemployment which obviously. none of the other candidates really had any particular grab grasp of either which would have been a kind of failing effort in an election contest but now listen he like any leader is in the pragmatic situation where he has to deal with unemployment now and this is one of the things that he really is going to be tested is i mean this is the bottom muslim brotherhood has this extensive grassroots support but that doesn't excuse it from having to finally deal with the issues that are facing egypt right now even does does he have any and i'm going to show you are a b u i c can. tolerate but he's going to be tested in the end about whether you can solve the domestic problems but there's a you have the power to do it does he have any tools that that will that is being
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played out right now we don't know yet i mean what do you think about that how many do you think the egyptian people running the gyptian people feel about this standoff was it expected or they're just getting tired of it. so i mean listen we can we can try to reverse engineer what the street is feeling twenty five to thirty percent of the public are more or less muslim brotherhood supporters another fifteen percent will vacillate between them and the other salafi to their more good to the more extreme poor part of the spectrum but the protest after parliament convened earlier this week and then spent the fifteen minutes that they did declaring that they were on convening and then the muslim brotherhood marched in a show of force two to hear square that was a crowd that was overwhelmingly islamist and overwhelmingly male the secularists have bowed out now the question is have they already lost power and they can't regain it i think the argument that stephen is at least dancing around is the
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suggestion that at least now that the muslim brotherhood is in power they will be held accountable to the degree to which they can secure infrastructure fix the economy etc that i'm not sure is the case historically when his ball or took power in lebanon when hamas took power in the gaza strip the analysis from certain quarters of the western foreign policy community was now they're going to be held accountable which will force them to a moderate and be. focused amassed a cli and quite the opposite happened when they found that they didn't have the tools to fix their domestic situations or they were interested in it choose your explanation they turned outward and actually increased i mean materialism with. guns is under siege ok i mean they're very different situations don't you think. there are i mean listen there it might have been a bad argument to make that hamas would be forced to moderate and be accountable but that was the argument being made and it's the argument we've seen every time
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that islamist parties have taken over and it hasn't happened now the reason that this gets to a valid discussion is steven's assertion of stephen's assertion that. now morsi will be forced to focus inward that's one path the future could take the other one is he'll realize that he can't do anything domestically because as you say he lacks the tools to do so in which case the focus outward and those are two very very different geo political outcomes and they're also two very very different outcomes for the future of egypt electoral process and the degree to which they'll have the breathing room to cry i mean let me jump in here we're going to go to a short break gentlemen and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on egypt state. and.
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oh i'm. pleased.
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the amenities. are lucky. lucky. welcome back to cross talk i'm sure mind you were talking about egypt's political dance. plug. plug. in a statement it seems very interesting to me that i think it's much as overdone about the muslim brotherhood and its ideology and all that it's the military that just wants to keep its privilege and wealth it's nothing about politics. well i think there's some truth to what you say your other guest was talking about an
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inward path for the muslim brotherhood who are now word path i have argued for in. the notion that they would focus on domestic matters because that will allow them to get reelected. because obviously that's the crucial issue in egypt right now by difference on the issue of an outward path assuming as the guest my guest was saying that the message power would not be available to president morsi to really do very much about the egyptian economy the notion that he would try to spread the sort of islamic faith around egypt to the point where you know that his party could just dominate the situation seems to me really. something that's not going to happen i mean first of all the bump up against the military it's not going to the military will not permit and second of all you know egypt. as our guest pointed out the muslim brotherhood only has about twenty or thirty percent of the
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vote so they don't they can't exactly take over the other seventy percent of the electorate simply by spreading their ideology so it seems to me that it is actually in the interests of the military to have a better improved economy they may actually be willing to allow morsi flexibility within the domestic sphere and keep him out of the foreign policy and security parts of the egyptian society and they listen as we know they they control many companies out of their own in a way they would very much like to see their companies be profitable amber in the coming years it sounds like they want to make him into prime minister in a press president. no listen this is a i think this is a line that's been used a lot in recent days. for years and years and years the prime minister was the functionary he was the you know a stand simply powerful figurehead and as we were discussing earlier for the first
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time since the one nine hundred fifty s. the president is subordinate to the military now that may change i don't think it will and i think we should talk about that in a second but. as a matter of brute and pure as a matter of brute fact right now the president is exactly in the position that the prime minister used to be before the egyptian revolution i don't understand i am not sure why stephen thinks that the military would give more see. would give morsi power if they have an interest in having him fail or at least letting him know that he is supposed to stay in a secondary which you correctly call analogous to a prime minister in a secular position that's analogous to a prime minister now the outward turn or the islamised turn or whatever you want to call that's not going to happen with the muslim brotherhood doing missionary work that's not how it's going to happen the way it'll happen is if the muslim
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brotherhood decides that they need to goose their support either by appealing to the more extremist salafi just in convincing them that they can be a legitimate standard bearer for them which is to say cracking down on civil liberties giving more space in the media and in the public sphere and in egyptian civil society to calls like we heard over the weekend to of all things tear down the pyramids as being praised lamas which are french positions which you should which in the past would have been not would have been permitted entrance into mainstream discourse the spectrum has now been spread now if the muslim brotherhood makes a decision that they can become the standard bearers for that friend domestically by. allowing those kinds of sentiments to not only be injected into public debate but also in some places to take hold in the form of limiting the rights of women limiting the rights of homosexuals limiting the rights of religious minorities and
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then they appeal to the let's say hard i mean war it sounds like you are in that kind of a little bit american little academic i mean of course stephen you know i mean you know appeals to the constituencies i mean democracy is not alive in egypt as we speak right now ok what's the point of having elections if you're elected and you can sit in your position of power what's the point of having elections. but you know we're in a situation transition i mean we're talking about a country that hasn't had the markets and thousands of years they had successful elections they had to say a lot of going around that's going on right now it's part of the process obviously it may fail i mean we know that but but if if we go if we play it out in sequence when it's likely it's a close and it's likely to as a foundation for this process then there are possibilities that it can succeed and there has to be negotiations between the military and president morsi the military
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by the way is not going to permit morsi and his islamic followers to do exactly what our guest is suggesting they just simply not going to let it happen so he knows there are limits on what you can do let me ask the question as you. point of having democracy then. well well this is this is a this is a fundamental difference between season and i which is who wins if it's stephen thinks that what we're watching is a transition is a muddy transition where people are stumbling around making mistakes and having teaching moments that though them grow from i think that it's much more likely given an objective non rose glass colored look at egypt that what we're looking at is a retrenchment that i think you i mean if i if i'm understanding what you're implying peter it's that what we're seeing is the illusion of democracy and with people in the back room negotiating now i don't know why stephen is so confident that
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morsi and i mean lee and sort of have to negotiate gyptian know they wanted nothing to people voted ok that's what democracy is about ok and they're being denied that outcome right now as we speak stephen what do you think we're going to between egypt and what been mostly see for presidential democracy anyway for a couple of weeks it's a little hard to start you know assessing exactly what the outcome is going to stand it sounds like one of the other you to me you know you you you the people voted the wrong way so we have to have another election you don't vote the right way if have another election that's what it sounds like. well i think that actually you know morsi is not has not actually said that he disagrees with the court decision as i understand it he says let's postpone the dissolution of parliament until after i think it's two months after the constitution has been written so he's
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not disagree more with the military decision than the court decision but in any case these are kind of things that he's going to get more fully out there's no obvious need at this point for the military to to overthrow morsi simply because he disagrees with them on this particular decision and what do you think it is just what you think over the next few weeks and months we're going to see these kinds of confrontations. testing best idea this thing or will i let everybody in. your stead. well either see yeah well i don't see this kind of confrontation or we'll see a very very very quiet power sharing agreement and it won't be the problem is that there's also a secondary level debate occurring which is between steve and i would say is will what happens the negotiations that happened be out in the open and therefore part of a democratic transition something that's public can be debated can be argued about can be filtered through the media or is it going to be a backroom deal in which already powerful factions come to an understanding and
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probably that understanding will be the military allowing islam is some control over the domestic sphere so that they can do what they want to do while the military maintains national security control now if that is what happens then we're not looking at a democratic transition in fact we don't even have the material for a democratic transition because the stuff that's happening that matters isn't happening out in the open where voters can have a say in it and if that's what's happening then western policy makers as well as policymakers in russia and china and so on need to anticipate that that's the direction we're going and they need to start being very very from as reportedly the saudis have been in backdoor discussions that they value stability and they value a slow transition rather than what we're seeing from some quarters which is this naive faith that there is a democratic transition occurring that is in some sense liberal and in some sense promotes liberty ok steven do you think the military would be very i said it was
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a secret deal that was being negotiated between the muslim brotherhood and the armed forces. we all know that they've had deals in the past way before these elections occurred so it is per perfectly possible that may happen but i do think it would be very stressful for any democracy if that were to occur now. it is possible to have open deals where there is an allocation of power between the military and the presidency which would allow the process of democratization to go forward without all the strains that would be occurring if if everything was done in a kind of it's possible but it's unlikely but it's unlikely just on way and we're going to jump in well we don't know you know i mean i think it's it's we don't know but but all we don't know what will happen nobody knows what will happen but all of the signs point to back room deals and anti democratic transition now this might be the
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way the only way to prevent a collapse of egyptian civil society and more to the point a collapse of the economy that will destabilize not just egypt but the region around egypt it will prevent for instance egypt for maintaining security in the sinai which may force which may force reactions from the israelis it might be the only way but for the purposes of the debate that we're having which is are we seeing signs of a democratic transition and are we seeing signs that egypt has what it's going to take to successfully navigate a transition it's possible as stephen says but all of the evidence and all of the indicators go the other way now yes the transition is still young and so on and so on but there is deep suspicion that for the week between the end of the election and the announcement there were deals between there were discussions between the military hierarchy and the muslim brotherhood are hierarchy and very importantly by the way not with morsi who does not lead the movement in a way that would allow him to have led those discussions and there is evidence that
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they're going to. get out of time to give stephen the last word is democracy advancing or retreating in egypt. real quick it's still too early to say but listen they've had a parliamentary election they've had a presidential election. glory to the egyptians for having a accomplish that they haven't done and thousands of years gentlemen thank you very much for your naming diskettes ok many thanks again to my guests in new york and in washington thanks to our viewers for watching us here at d.c. and excitement remember i was talking. to. students.
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